The best approach for dealing with a nuisance from a neighbouring property is to talk to them directly and work together on a solution to the problem. You may feel anxious about approaching your neighbour, but remember they may not be aware that they are disturbing you. Talking about the nuisance early on can help make neighbours aware of the problem and be more considerate in the future.
The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria has some good advice on how to approach your neighbour.
If the nuisance persists contact the Dispute Settlement Centre on 1300 372 888. These centres specialise in settling differences between neighbours. They can arrange mediation between yourself, the person responsible for the nuisance issue and a mediator to help solve the problem. This process is free and has a high success rate.
If talking to the person responsible for the nuisance doesn't resolve the situation and the nuisance continues to be a problem, then you need to find which authority is responsible for dealing with your specific type of nuisance issue. As nuisance is a broad and complex topic this could be the Shire or another authority, such as the EPA, or the police.
For a list of who to contact for noise issues and how to resolve them, see our noise guide.
If you are unable to resolve the nuisance issue with your neighbour, you can contact the Shire for general advice on managing the issue, including whether the issue can be resolved by us.
Report a noise or general nuisance issue
What steps can the Shire take?
- Upon receipt of a complaint the Shire will contact the person responsible and request they take action to reduce the impact.
- If the noise or other general nuisance continues to cause you problems, the Shire in most circumstances requires written evidence confirming it is posing an on-going disturbance.
Evidence should include a log demonstrating an on-going unreasonable disturbance, medical documentation from a medical professional stating how the nuisance is affecting your health, or a Statutory Declaration. You may be called upon as a witness if the case progresses to the Magistrate’s Court.
Once the Shire has received this evidence we will determine if the evidence constitutes an offence under relevant legislation and establish the best course action. This may involve Officer’s attendance to observe the nuisance, a formal meeting with the source and/or deployment of an instrument to measure the nuisance i.e. noise or wood smoke.
Please note that where the disturbance is not deemed to be unreasonable or a nuisance, the Shire will not be able to take any further action.
To lodge a complaint please contact us.